Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Med J Aust. 2011 Jul 4;195(1):25-8.

Prevalence and characteristics of complaint-prone doctors in private practice in Victoria.

Author information

School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.



To identify characteristics of doctors who are repeated subjects of complaints by patients.


Case-control study of doctors about whom patients had complained to the Victorian Health Services Commissioner between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2009.


384 doctors in private practice; cases comprised 96 doctors who were the subject of four or more separate complaints; and the control group comprised 288 doctors who were the subject of a single complaint over the study period.


Among doctors in private practice in Victoria, 20.5% (95% CI, 19.7%-21.3%) experienced at least one complaint over the decade. Among doctors who were the subject of a complaint, 4.5% (95% CI, 3.6%-5.4%) had four or more complaints, and this group accounted for 17.6% (95% CI, 16.3%-19.0%) of all complaints to the Victorian Health Services Commissioner. Multivariate analyses showed that surgeons (odds ratio [OR], 8.90; 95% CI, 3.69-21.50) and psychiatrists (OR, 4.59; 95% CI, 1.46-14.43) had higher odds of being in the complaint-prone group than general practitioners. Doctors trained overseas had lower odds of being complaint-prone than those trained in Australia (OR, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.13-0.72).


A small group of doctors in private practice in Victoria account for nearly 18% of complaints. Interventions to improve patient satisfaction and public confidence in health services should target complaint-prone subgroups of practitioners.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Australasian Medical Publishing Company
    Loading ...
    Support Center